Use this ‘Content Groups’ model to help clarify your thinking around what content to produce
Using my Content Groups model as a guide, I see there are two areas in particular that personal (and business) brands can take advantage of today.
G’day, my name is Trevor Young and this is my newsletter about positioning ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities that come with being an active participant in today’s ‘Reputation Economy’. You can subscribe by clicking on this button:
I’ve taught this ‘Content Groups’ model (see diagram below) for many years now and feedback has always been positive in that it’s helped marketers, PR practitioners and business owners to clarify their thinking around the content they (want to) produce.
I’ve refined the model over time but its intent has remained steadfast. Today, as content marketing continues to mature, it’s probably more relevant than ever.
Bottom line: The goal is to intentionally mix our content across the four dimensions of ‘Utility’ (useful, helpful, audience-first); ‘Leadership’ (flag-in-the-ground, lead the conversation); ‘Human’ (behind the public face of your business/show the personal side of your professional life); and ‘Branded’ (company news, promotional etc).
Let’s unpack them a wee bit more:
UTILITY – Addresses people’s challenges, needs, pain-points relevant to our expertise; fills information gaps people might have about our products/services.
LEADERSHIP – Thought-provoking content, bigger picture themes: inspire people, challenge the way they think about a particular topic or issue; move people with your ideas!
HUMAN – Take people behind the public face of your business or organisation; show more of your personal side (individuals); tell other people’s stories: employees, partners (companies) etc.
BRANDED – ‘Chest-beating’ content (award wins, company news, product launches, new hires) PLUS promotional CTAs (bookings, downloads, registrations, event announcements etc).
Many businesses create utility content. This is the mantra of content marketing folks, and for good reason: no-one ever went wrong being useful and helpful!
Depth & transparency
Unfortunately, a lot of utility content I see these days is very bland and platitudinous (‘ticking the boxes’). But those who do it with depth and transparency - for example, Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media Studios - will always win the day.
Businesses are also pretty good at created branded content, even if too many tend to over-do it a bit. Old habits die hard!
2 big opportunities for brands and individuals
Using the Content Groups model as a guide, I see there are two areas that personal (and business) brands can leverage today in order to get the edge on their competitors. They are:
1. Leadership content
First-class LEADERSHIP CONTENT has the power to not only differentiate your brand in the marketplace, but also significantly build visibility, reputation and trust.
This is the content that people share and talk about. Oh, and it’s potentially best developed and created through a PR lens versus a marketing one.
Wes Kao (I love her article on having a “spiky point of view”)
A lot of the content Seth, Chris, Joanna, Wes and David produce is thought provoking; they have the ability to change the way we think through their insights and ideas.
2. Human content
Let’s face it, we do business with people, not logos. HUMAN CONTENT is the missing link in the content armoury of many businesses, big, small … even micro.
This is unfortunate because it can often be the most powerful content we produce!
Active content creators on LinkedIn, for example, will often tell you the personal stories they publish on the platform get the best engagement and reach. Why? Because we relate to them.
Ditto, the use of selfies on social media generally. On-the-job photos showing people in-situ also work well. Again, because they’re relatable.
Telling personal stories - whether written, on video or in a podcast - will help you cut through the clutter and resonate with your message.
Top marketing and business blogger and author, Mark Schaefer, knows this well. Check out these examples of human stories Mark has written.
Humanising businesses is a thing. It builds trust, and trust is the social currency of today’s connected economy.
Anyhow, I hope you’ve found this little riff somewhat interesting and hopefully it’s changed the way you look at the content you produce
👋 I'm Trevor, founder & chief guide at Credible Authority Academy
✅ Experienced PR and communications strategist, advisor and coach
✅ I help business leaders and industry experts elevate their profile, build their reputation and grow their sphere of influence
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